Donal Blaney: It is time for conservatives to boycott the Telegraph. Anybody with me?
Donal Blaney is the Chief Executive of the Young Britons’ Foundation.
“You’re damn right I’m angry.”
Just as the Church of England was said to be the Tory Party at prayer, so it was that the Telegraph used to be the Conservatives’ political bible. For decades, conservatives were able to rely on the steadfast support of what became known as The Torygraph – a newspaper that passionately stood up not only for conservative values even when the rest of Fleet Street went all gooey over Tony Blair but which proudly endorsed the Conservative Party as the best vehicle for the delivery of conservative ideals.
And then the Barclay Brothers arrived.
What are we left with now? In its naked desire for sales and profit, the Telegraph seems to have lost sight of the broader picture. While it is understandable that the tax haven-dwelling owners of the Telegraph might want to count their pennies and stroke their white cats on their island lair, have they forgotten that they rely on conservative-inclined readers to buy their newspapers? Fewer readers means less profit.
Which has rather got me thinking.
Leftists are masters at the use of popular protest to get their way. Deploying customers to express discontent has often succeeded in getting results for those whose views may not accord with ours as conservatives. The same tactics are being deployed by Manchester United fans, protesting against the Glazers’ continued ownership of Britain’s wealthiest football club, an approach now being copied at Anfield by similarly disgruntled Liverpool fans.
The Daily Telegraph was once a great newspaper. It has now morphed into a celeb-obsessed gossip rag which is increasingly making The Daily Mirror look like a serious newspaper.
“Don’t get mad, get even”, we are told. Norman Tebbit once said that that maxim was wrong in the context of politics. “Get mad and even”, he said. The sordid whiff of prurient homophobia disguised as concern for taxpayers’ money coupled with a galling display of cant from our political opponents has managed to drive from office a man who true fiscal conservatives were proud to have as Chief Secretary. David Laws showed himself to be ready, willing and able to put the national interest first. He had the determination to push through undoubtedly necessary public spending cuts in the face of opposition from within his own party (and, indeed, our own).
The same could not be said of The Telegraph. Either The Telegraph knew of this story and sat on it for over a year or someone (does anyone else smell a McBride-esque smear here?) has decided to deploy this negative information against David Laws and the Coalition at the very time our country needs fiscal conservatism to save us from a sovereign debt crisis born from Gordon Brown’s profligate and inept mismanagement of the economy since 1997.
So now is the time for all good conservatives to make it clear that enough is enough. The Telegraph long ceased to be a serious paper of record. It long ceased to be the natural home for conservatives. It long ceased to deserve our patronage and custom. It is time for conservatives to vote with our feet. It is time for conservatives to boycott the Telegraph. Anybody with me?